Girls have been using their brains to better effect than boys for years when it comes to exams and they are now doing the same to increase their status in street gangs according to new research.
While young men are content to hang around estates and town centres smoking drugs, girls are taking full advantage of their superior social skills in helping them climb the criminal ladder as they are increasingly relied on for money laundering, smuggling weapons in their prams or hiding drug stashes.
Dr. Simon Harding from Middlesex University in London reported his conclusions after spending four years studying gang members aged 16-25.
This finding is not surprising, considering that other research has shown teenage “boys lag behind girls in developing ‘critical social skills’“.
“The male members of the gangs often spend a lot of time hanging around with their gang mates, smoking dope, staying out of the way. It’s the girls who keep in touch with the wider community. They pick up gossip on the streets, stay in contact with friends and family and use Facebook and Skype to gather information.”
He added: “The girls’ knowledge gives them status within the gang and the male members are wary of their power to spread rumour about them or inform on them to others in the gang, and that can put some of them in a powerful position.”